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Feminism: chat

Sexual abuse in gymnastics

7 replies

StellaAndCrow · 17/02/2022 18:21

Has anyone seen the video "At the Heart of Gold Inside the USA Gymnastics Scandal" about the Larry Nassar USA Olympic athletes sexual abuse? The full film is on YouTube:

I know it's a couple of years ago, but it's so good at highlighting how grooming and child sexual abuse happens
  • how much other adults and people in power covered it up and missed reporting opportunities.
  • - because “he was one of the nicest people we’ve ever met”
  • children reporting obvious abuse, being told it's a medical treatment - older girls feeling guilty for telling them "it's ok he does it to us all, it's legit"
  • how much he’d integrated himself into society and how ready institutions were to defend him.
  • grooming behaviours
  • how the generally negative and punitive training system led to the gymnasts seeing Larry was the only one who was “nice” to them
  • awesome judge at the end who uses his own apology statement to highlight his lack of respect for women
  • how brave the women were, but it shouldn’t have taken 156 of them to come forward and break anonymity in order for them to be believed and listened to.
OP posts:

StellaAndCrow · 17/02/2022 18:27

The levels of physical pain the athletes put up with is immense. They showed one girl who broke her leg - Larry Nassar did daily "treatments" and said it wasn't broken so she kept practicing on it, and just thought the searing pain was normal . . .

OP posts:

OperationDessertStorm · 18/02/2022 08:47

156 women. The scale of it is Utterly heartbreaking


OhHolyJesus · 18/02/2022 19:54

Interesting, I'll check it out. I also recommend Athlete A on Netflix which is on the same topic.


TheWeeDonkey · 20/02/2022 08:33

I watched this during the first lockdown and I was horrified. I'm not quite sure what I expected because I'd known it had happened but I didn't quite realise the scale of collusion and the scale of all types of abuse these girls and women experienced.

Those poor girls lives were sacrificed in the pursuit of sporting excellence. I have so much respect for their bravery in speaking up.


StellaAndCrow · 20/02/2022 16:00

Yes, I was shocked by the scale of it, and the extent of the cover up. And so many people still not thinking he was doing anything wrong, right up to the point that the police found child porn on hard drives he tried to throw away.
I loved the judge at the end. She saw right through him and his manipulative "apology".

OP posts:

TheWeeDonkey · 20/02/2022 18:45

None of those poor girls were believed. One of his victims was his friend's daughter. She was a child when he molested her and when she told her father, he refused to believe her!

There just seems to be a whole culture where women and girls are not believed and men's careers matter more than girl's lives and safety.

It made me so angry. The judge was wonderful, and I'm glad that the young women who felt able to had the chance to confront him. It was interesting to see his true character come out in the end.


LilithOfEden · 22/02/2022 16:33

Closer to home, there's the Irish swim coach scandal about George Gibney. The misogynist culture that fostered this creep is the same one being held up as the exemplar of inclusivity today. Great and heartbreaking podcast about it on BBC Sounds. As a swim mum, I know what those girls would have put themselves through to get to top flight swimming, only to have it taken away by this POS. He's still free. Trigger warning about the content.

Where is George Gibney?

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